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Adam Sandler, Renée Zellweger and The Farewell Win Big at 2020 Independent Spirit Awards

At a Film Independent Spirit Awards that often stood in stark contrast to Sunday’s Academy Awards, Lulu Wang‘s family drama The Farewell took the top prize, while Adam Sandler and the Safdie brothers’ Uncut Gems also landed awards.

The win Saturday for The Farewell was a surprise, but also a fitting finale to a Spirit Awards that exalted female filmmakers and put forth a far more diverse field of nominees than the film academy.

Uncut Gems led all films with three awards, including best performance by a male actor for Sandler, best director for Josh and Ben Safdie, and best editing.

Sandler, who received a standing ovation, compared his Oscar “snub” to losing best looking in high school. But he did win best personality, an honor he compared to his Spirit Award.

“Tonight as I look around this room, I realize the Independent Spirit Awards are the best personality awards of Hollywood,” he said to wild applause at Saturday’s indie gala. Employing one of his trademark silly voices, Sandler continued, “So let all of those feather-haired douchebag motherfuckers get their Oscars tomorrow night. Their handsome good looks will fade in time, while our independent personalities will shine on forever.”

The lead female prize went to Renée Zellweger for her performance as Judy Garland in Judy. Zellweger was the only nominee in the Spirits’ four acting categories to also be nominated for an Academy Award.

The show was hosted for the second year in a row by actress and producer Aubrey Plaza. In a filmed opening to the show she played herself and the spirit of Judy Garland, who encouraged the anxious Plaza. Taking the stage with a six-piece band and two male dancers, Plaza sang Garland’s “Get Happy,” while playfully ribbing many notable faces in the room, including Jennifer Lopez, Zellweger, Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Shia LeBeouf, Mary Kay Place and Netflix executive Ted Sarandos.

One of the highlights from the event was when the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles took to the stage inside of the tent and delivered what can only be described as a totally epic and hilarious tribute to the gayest moments in film of 2019. That culminated in an ode to Marriage Story Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee and all-around screen icon Laura Dern.

Here are some of the red carpet highlights from the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards.

Check out the full winners’ list below.

Best Feature
A HIDDEN LIFE
CLEMENCY
THE FAREWELL (Winner)
MARRIAGE STORY
UNCUT GEMS

Best Director
Robert Eggers – THE LIGHTHOUSE
Alma Har’el – HONEY BOY
Julius Onah – LUCE
Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – UNCUT GEMS (Winner)
Lorene Scafaria – HUSTLERS

Best First Feature
BOOKSMART (Winner)
THE CLIMB
DIANE
THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO
THE MUSTANG
SEE YOU YESTERDAY

Best Female Lead
Karen Allen – COLEWELL
Hong Chau – DRIVEWAYS
Elisabeth Moss – HER SMELL
Mary Kay Place – DIANE
Alfre Woodard – CLEMENCY
Renée Zellweger – JUDY (Winner)

Best Male Lead
Chris Galust – GIVE ME LIBERTY
Kelvin Harrison Jr. – LUCE
Robert Pattinson – THE LIGHTHOUSE
Adam Sandler – UNCUT GEMS (Winner)
Matthias Schoenaerts – THE MUSTANG

Best Supporting Female
Jennifer Lopez – HUSTLERS
Taylor Russell – WAVES
Zhao Shuzhen – THE FAREWELL (Winner)
Lauren “Lolo” Spencer – GIVE ME LIBERTY
Octavia Spencer – LUCE

Best Supporting Male
Willem Dafoe – THE LIGHTHOUSE (Winner)
Noah Jupe – HONEY BOY
Shia Labeouf – HONEY BOY
Jonathan Majors – THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO
Wendell Pierce – BURNING CANE

Best Screenplay
Noah Baumbach – MARRIAGE STORY (Winner)
Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder – TO DUST
Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – UNCUT GEMS
Chinonye Chukwu – CLEMENCY
Tarell Alvin Mccraney – HIGH FLYING BIRD

Best First Screenplay
Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol – SEE YOU YESTERDAY (Winner)
Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen – DRIVEWAYS
Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy – BLOW THE MAN DOWN
Jocelyn Deboer, Dawn Luebbe – GREENER GRASS
James Montague, Craig W. Sanger – THE VAST OF NIGHT

Best Cinematography
Todd Banhazl – HUSTLERS
Jarin Blaschke – THE LIGHTHOUSE (Winner)
Natasha Braier – HONEY BOY
Chananun Chotrungroj – THE THIRD WIFE
Pawel Pogorzelski – MIDSOMMAR

Best Editing
Julie Béziau – THE THIRD WIFE
Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie – UNCUT GEMS (Winner)
Tyler L. Cook – SWORD OF TRUST
Louise Ford – THE LIGHTHOUSE
Kirill Mikhanovsky – GIVE ME LIBERTY

John Cassavetes Award
BURNING CANE
COLEWELL
GIVE ME LIBERTY (Winner)
PREMATURE
WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY

Robert Altman Award
“Marriage Story”

Best Documentary
AMERICAN FACTORY (Winner)
APOLLO 11
FOR SAMA
HONEYLAND
ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS

Best International Film
INVISIBLE LIFE, Brazil
LES MISERABLES, France
PARASITE, South Korea (Winner)
PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, France
RETABLO, Peru
THE SOUVENIR, United Kingdom

Someone to Watch Award
Rashaad Ernesto Green – PREMATURE (Winner)
Ash Mayfair – THE THIRD WIFE
Joe Talbot – THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO

Truer Than Fiction Award
Khalik Allah – BLACK MOTHER
Davy Rothbart – 17 BLOCKS
Nadia Shihab – JADDOLAND (Winner)
Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside – AMÉRICA

Annual Bonnie Award
Marielle Heller
Lulu Wang
Kelly Reichardt (Winner)


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